DU admissions: Decision on CBSE Class 12 evaluation awaited
While the cancellation of the Class 12 board exams has left a question mark over how Delhi University admissions will be conducted, the varsity has decided to keep the admission process online for the second straight year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though the rest of the modalities -- including the evaluation process to be determined for Class 12 by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and other boards is yet to be worked out -- one thing appears certain: the university will continue to skip trials to admit students under the sports and extracurricular activities (ECA) quotas.
Officials from the Union education ministry and DU also hinted on Tuesday that the varsity may adopt the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) for admissions this year. The problem, however, is that CUCET process and format has not been finalised yet.
“We have almost decided to conduct sports and ECA admissions on the basis of merit certificates only since it won’t be possible for the university to conduct trials this year as well... knowing that some part of the country might be under lockdown at the time of the process and it will be unfair to the students,” said Rajeev Gupta, chairperson of DU admissions.
He added that DU was still waiting for clarity from CBSE on the evaluation of Class 12 results (the board is expected to submit its formula to the Supreme Court on Thursday).
“While the admissions will be fully online, it is difficult to make any decision about the changes in the admission process at a time when CBSE and other state boards are yet to decide their evaluation criteria. We have to be as inclusive as possible so we will wait till maximum states announce their evaluation plans and date of declaration of results for class 12 students,” Gupta said.
In DU colleges, 5% of supernumerary seats are reserved under sports and ECA categories collectively in each course.
Over 60,000 students take admission across 60 plus colleges in DU every year. The university receives maximum number of applications from Delhi, with around 80% students passing from the CBSE board every year.
The Union government had on June 1 cancelled the Class 12 exams in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and said the CBSE would come up with a “well-defined objective criteria” in a time bound manner to assess the students. A 13-member panel has been constituted by CBSE to devise and recommend the evaluation process.
Officials at DU said they were planning to come up with a Plan B in case the university was not satisfied with the CBSE’s evaluation criteria. DU acting vice-chancellor (V-C) PC Joshi said, “We are waiting for CBSE to announce the criteria so that we can sit and brainstorm. We need to dissect the evaluation process and see if it will be at par with the criteria adopted by other state boards as well.”
Joshi, who is also a member of the Centre’s CUCET committee, said that a common entrance test was the best option in the present scenario. “It can bring students from across the education boards at one level. In case DU is not satisfied with the evaluation criteria adopted by CBSE, from where we receive the maximum number of students, we can give 100% weightage to CUCET scores. Otherwise, it will become a big challenge for DU to take admission only on the basis of Class 12 marks,” he said.
According to officials and members of the CUCET committee, the entrance exam, which will be conducted by he national testing agency (NTA), will be held online.
Officials at the ministry of education suggested that CUCET may get a nod this year. “The government is seriously considering introducing CUCET this year in line with the NEP (National Education Policy), 2020. A final call is expected soon in this regard,” said a senior official who asked not to be named.
DU’s admission committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss matters related to the admission. “There should be a screening process in case we have to admit students only on the basis of Class 12 marks since these will be the marks allotted using alternative criteria. We just cannot rely on them solely. We will discuss this option soon with the administration,” said a member of the committee.
Several experts and students have earlier said that even as a common entrance exam is the best possible solution in the present scenario, the government should avoid introducing any changes in the admission process amid the pandemic. Some students, however, said that they would prefer entrance exams.
“Many students might not get as much marks as they would if CBSE class 12 exams had happened. In such a case, many deserving students may be left behind. It’s better if the government conducts a common entrance exam. However, they should inform students well in advance,” said Arpit Sharma, a class 12 student at Bal Bharti School.